Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.
GOP leaders agreed yesterday to remove an Affordable Care Act (ACA) fix from the year-end funding bill in an effort to avoid a government shutdown, Politico reported. Instead, Sen Susan Collins (R-ME) plans to include funding for ACA subsidies in January 2018. Both the House and Senate had been debating the inclusion of subsidy funding, which may have made the legislation difficult to pass, according to the article.
President Donald Trump claimed that the tax bill would “essentially repeal” the ACA due to the elimination of the individual mandate, according to The Hill. However, individuals can still purchase coverage through ACA marketplaces, the repeal did not affect Medicaid expansion, and other provisions remain. With insurance and health care experts warning that the repeal may increase premiums, Trump said there needs to be a better health law implemented, according to the article.
In 2016—for the second year in a row—life expectancy in the United States dropped due to the effects of the opioid epidemic, according to NPR. Life expectancy for Americans has been steadily increasing over the past few decades with scarce dips, including a drop due to the AIDS epidemic. This trend may be particularly concerning because it gives an overall view of American well-being, highlighting the need for new efforts to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the article.